Tech Guides

The ultimate guide to paying with your smartphone in Singapore

By Alvin Soon - 10 Jul 2017

Paying via an NFC SIM card

4. Mobile payments via NFC SIM cards from telcos

The fourth way you can pay with your smartphone in Singapore is by using an NFC SIM card from your telco and its companion app.

Singapore’s three big telcos first launched their mobile payment solutions in 2012; some things have changed since then, and each telco offers different features. We have:

  1. M1 Mobile Wallet
  2. Singtel Dash
  3. StarHub SmartWallet

There are three main things you should know first about getting an NFC SIM card:

  1. Unlike Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, which cost you nothing to set up, you need to pay extra for an NFC SIM card from your telco, and there might be additional registration fees
  2. The NFC SIM card introduced in 2012 has been replaced with a new EZ-Link NFC Transit SIM card in 2016
  3. The new NFC Transit SIM has the same mobile payment features as the previous SIM card, and introduces the ability to pay for public transportation in Singapore via EZ-Link

 

M1 Mobile Wallet

Together with an EZ-Link NFC Transit SIM card from M1, the M1 Mobile Wallet is two mobile wallets in one app. Like the mobile wallets previously mentioned, you need to top up cash value into these mobile wallets in order to pay for things.

The EZ-Link mobile wallet lets you pay for public transportation as well as pay at EZ-Link terminals. The M1 NFC Prepaid MasterCard mobile wallet lets you pay at NFC contactless payment terminals. The M1 Mobile Wallet app is available on Android.

What you need

First, you need to be an M1 customer. You’ll also need a compatible NFC smartphone to use the M1 Mobile Wallet services.

Then, you’ll need to get the EZ-Link NFC Transit SIM card from M1 to use either the EZ-Link and/or the M1 NFC Prepaid MasterCard mobile wallet. If you want to use the M1 NFC Prepaid MasterCard mobile wallet, you can register for it in the app.

What you can use M1 Mobile Wallet for

With the EZ-Link NFC Transit SIM card, you can use the EZ-Link mobile wallet to pay for public transportation, as well as at payment terminals that accept EZ-Link.

With the M1 NFC Prepaid MasterCard mobile wallet, you can make payment from the mobile wallet at contactless NFC payment terminals that accept ‘MasterCard Contactless’ or ‘MasterCard PayPass.’

Why use M1 Mobile Wallet?

If you’re an M1 subscriber with a compatible NFC smartphone, this is one way for you to pay for public transportation and over the counter using your smartphone.

 

Singtel Dash

Singtel first launched its mWallet app in 2012, and it’s since been succeeded by the Dash app. You don’t actually need the EZ-Link NFC Transit SIM card from Singtel to use Dash’s other payment services, which were detailed earlier in this article.

The one thing you’ll need the EZ-Link NFC Transit SIM card from Singtel for is if you want to use Dash’s EZ-Link mobile wallet to pay for public transportation in Singapore.

Like we previously mentioned, there are two versions of Dash you can download, one from Singtel and one from Standard Chartered. Singtel recommends you get theirs. The app is available on iOS (Singtel, Standard Chartered) and Android (Singtel, Standard Chartered).

What you need

First, you need to be a Singtel customer. You’ll also need a compatible NFC smartphone to use Singtel Dash. Then, you’ll need to get the EZ-Link NFC Transit SIM card from Singtel to use the EZ-Link wallet in the Dash app.

Once you’ve set that up, your Dash app will have two separate mobile wallets, one for Dash’s other payment services like paying at Dash terminals, one for the EZ-Link function.

What you can use Singtel Dash for

Together with a compatible NFC smartphone and the EZ-Link NFC Transit SIM card from Singtel, you can top up value into the EZ-Link mobile wallet inside Dash, and use that to pay for public transportation in Singapore, as well as at payment terminals that accept EZ-Link.

Again, this is only if you want to use Dash’s EZ-Link wallet to pay for public transportation. If you only want to use Dash’s mobile wallet for its other payment features, you don’t need to be a Singtel customer or to have the EZ-Link NFC Transit SIM card from Singtel.

Why use Singtel Dash?

If you’re a Singtel customer who wants to pay for public transportation using your smartphone.

 

StarHub SmartWallet

StarHub SmartWallet first launched in 2012 with DBS One.Tap, but that has since been removed. Now the app only supports paying with the EZ-Link mobile wallet. StarHub SmartWallet is available on Android.

What you need

First, you need to be a StarHub customer. You’ll also need a compatible NFC smartphone to use StarHub SmartWallet. Then, you’ll need to get the EZ-Link NFC Transit SIM card from StarHub to use the EZ-Link wallet in the SmartWallet app.

What you can use StarHub SmartWallet for

Together with a compatible NFC smartphone and the EZ-Link NFC Transit SIM card from StarHub, you can top up value into the EZ-Link mobile wallet inside SmartWallet, and use that to pay for public transportation in Singapore, as well as at payment terminals that accept EZ-Link.

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